Adrienne Rich, a poet and essayist born in Baltimore in 1929, who won the National Book Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and more, died today in her home in Santa Cruz, California.
Her father was a pathologist and professor at Johns Hopkins; her mother was a concert pianist. Rich went to Roland Park Country School, which she described as a “good old fashioned girls school [that] gave us fine role models of single women who were intellectually impassioned.” Rich went to Radcliffe College, where her first collection of poetry, A Change of World, was selected by the poet W.H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award.
Rich was best known as a feminist and advocate of women’s rights, which she wrote about in her poetry and prose. She also wrote antiwar poetry and took up the causes of the marginalized and underprivileged.